Plain English Summary
Background and study aims?
Stanford University is conducting a research study in Zambia's Southern Province to evaluate how well contracting the management of Ministry of Health vehicles and motorcycles to the NGO Riders for Health will work. The goal of the study is to assess the impact that reliable transportation can have on health, and the cost-effectiveness of such transportation. The learnings of this study can inform health officials, global health policy makers and funders about the costs and ultimate health benefits of investing in reliable transportation.
Who can participate?
This study does not directly involve human subjects/participants. Our target population is motorcycles and vehicles used for health delivery.
What does the study involve?
Eight districts in the Southern Province of Zambia are included in the study. Districts are randomly assigned as follows: four districts are experimental groups that are receiving an intervention (i.e., receive the Riders program), and four districts are control groups. The Riders intervention in the four experimental districts will be the "Transport Asset Management (TAM)" program. These districts receive vehicles and motorcycles as well as maintenance and repair services.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no risks to participants as the study does not involve patients but health technicians and transport managers.
Where is the study run from?
The study is run by the Socially and Environmentally Supply Chains Program at Stanford University's Global Supply Chain Management Forum, which is based at the University's Graduate School of Business.
When did the study start and how long is it expected to run for?
Baseline data collection began on August 1, 2011 and the study is expected to continue through summer 2013.
Who is funding the study?
The study is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, USA.
Who is the main contact?
Riders for Healths demonstration of effectiveness and efficiency of contracting out vehicle fleet management for health delivery: a randomised controlled study
1. To what extent do Riders for Health's models result in improved vehicle fleet management?
2. To what extent does improved vehicle fleet management result in improved health worker productivity?
3. To what extent does improved health worker productivity from improved vehicle fleet management result in equitable coverage of critical health interventions?
1. University of Zambia Biomedical Research Ethics Committee approved on November 4, 2010
2. Stanford University Research Compliance Office approved on August 31, 2010
Randomised controlled study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Health delivery by Zambia Ministry of Health's Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs)
Eight districts in the Southern Province of Zambia are included in the study. Districts were randomly assigned as follows: four districts are experimental groups that are receiving an intervention (i.e., receive the Riders program), and four districts are control groups. The Riders intervention in the four experimental districts will be the "Transport Asset Management (TAM)" program. These districts receive vehicles and motorcycles as well as maintenance and repair services. Data collection officers interview 120 Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs) in the four experimental districts and four control districts each week. Data collection officers also collect raw data for analysis including health treatment tally sheets, vehicle logs, immunization records, and more from health centers and district health offices.
Primary outcome measure
Environmental Health Technician productivity and health intervention coverage rates
Secondary outcome measures
No secondary outcome measures
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs) employed by Zambia's Ministry of Health. EHTs are assigned to both district health offices and urban and rural health centers
2. District health office transport managers employed by Zambia's Ministry of Health
This study does not directly involve human subjects/participants. Our target population is motorcycles and ambulances used for health delivery. We will not be measuring anything on human beings. The only (potential) human subjects issue is that we are collecting health worker activity sheets which include information about what health interventions have been delivered.
Target number of participants
120 Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs) and eight transport managers. In addition, we are tracking the daily movement of 100 Ministry of Health vehicles and motorcycles utilizing GPS technology
Participant exclusion criteria
Does not meet inclusion criteria
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
United States of America
Riders for Health (UK)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Not provided at time of registration
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not provided at time of registration
Basic results (scientific)